When you’re starting a company, you tend to spend all your time getting it launched.
It’s worse if you’re launching as a side business while working your regular job (or multiple jobs!). There is almost zero personal time, even less if you have a family that needs your attention.
Reflecting back on my life, I have a number of regrets. Here are 9 Things I Wish I Had Done Differently While My Children Were Growing
1. Shorter hours at work. 10 hour days were common, and I was often late getting them from daycare. In the end, the hours didn’t matter and I didn’t get paid extra. I did lose time with them.
2. Take them overseas. I had lived in Germany while single, and my wife had lived in France for a summer. Compared to a week at Disney, travelling to Europe is not more expensive.
3. Live where more kids were. Ours was a nice house on a cul-de-sac, but all the residents were older, with grown
children. There weren’t enough friends nearby to build the kinds of childhood friendships like I enjoyed and retain to this day.
4. Built that room over the garage. There was room for a 5th bedroom over the garage. It could have been a great playroom and a place to invite other friends over.
5. Invite more people over, more regularly. We went other places, but there never seemed to be a me to invite
others to come hang at our place. Even without the extra space, we could have. Just didn’t.
6. Invite missionaries and students to visit. It’s a desire to learn from other cultures, but the house never seemed
7. Take my son to scouting. He had anxiety about trying new things. We never quite got it done.
8. Take the family camping more. I took the kids a couple mes, but it was a challenge taking me off (#1) and
dealing with the dog. I did an overnight trip once, to the local park. I chose the one that closes the gate at dusk,
instead of the one that’s accessible all night. We bought a new tent and gear, but never went again. And my wife
doesn’t really like camping.
9. Take more trips. I did a lot of local activities, but never seemed to get away. Or when I did, it was too short. Even when I was unemployed, I should have taken time to visit my dad, I didn’t, but rather stayed put to look at jobs on the internet, that could have been done from anywhere. Even now, the job gets in the way of leaving for more than a couple hours at a me.
Maybe I can make it up when the side business and retirement life give me flexibility. But my encouragement to you is to take time now. Make your family part of your business. Teach them what you know, what you do. Build memories, not regrets.